Undergraduate Program

Engineering Physics

The Engineering Physics baccalaureate degree combines a deep understanding of science fundamentals with the practical knowledge and skills of engineering practice and design. When you graduate from Mines with a major in Engineering Physics, you’ll be ready to jump right into jobs that require a broad technical education. You will also be well-prepared to continue specialization through graduate school, whether in physics or related technical fields, or even medicine and law.

Graduates who have chosen to continue to study physics have successfully competed with the best students from around the country for admission to the most competitive graduate schools. Our curriculum combines aspects of an engineering degree with the rigorous foundation of traditional physics. 

In addition to the core courses required of every student at Mines, physics majors tackle advanced topics in mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, electronics, and modern physics.

The Department of Physics offers a broad selection of electives, with flexibility that makes it possible to minor in almost any area. Many of our graduates apply to and are accepted at engineering graduate programs in mechanical, electrical, and materials engineering.

Our Engineering Physics program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology — one of only 20 such programs in the country with this distinction, and the only one in Colorado.

Additional Program Information

Undergraduate Program Advising

Every Physics major is assigned a faculty advisor.  Students are also required to attend preregistration advising sessions every semester.  To supplement these resources, the Physics Department Undergraduate Council has also created an advising document to help guide students through the Physics major at Mines. The document can be accessed from the Undergraduate Program Advising page.

Summer Field Session and Senior Design

One of the unique aspects of the Mines Engineering Physics Curriculum is the practical training that comes through the combination of the Summer Field Session, prior to the junior year, and the full year of Senior Design.

In Summer Field Session, students are introduced to machine shop techniques, vacuum technology, materials preparation, and specialized applications of computer technology.

In the Senior Design sequence students work with a member of the faculty on an independent research, design, and/or fabrication project. This experience is very much like that of professional physicists. Physics Senior Design 2021

Combined BS/MS Programs

The Department of Physics, in partnership other departments, offers combined programs in which students can obtain a baccalaureate degree in Engineering Physics in as few as four years as well as a master’s degree with just one additional year of study.

Students can follow tracks in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Computer Science, Data Science, Electrical Engineering (Energy Systems Power Electronics or Information and Systems Sciences), Engineering and Technology Management, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Physics, or Quantum Engineering (software and hardware tracks).

Undergraduate Research Environment

Physics majors at Mines participate in the research activities of the physics faculty through senior design. But it is also possible to work with a research group as an Undergraduate Research Assistant.

Research in the Department is supported by state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation. In other labs, you will find, for example, the latest photon generation and detection hardware, including high-power and ultrafast lasers. These devices play key roles in research involving nonlinear biological imaging and in characterizing photovoltaic materials.

As an Engineering Physics major you will have a chance to work with the professors that are at the forefront in their areas of expertise. This is the kind of experience that will give you a head start on your career path.

Physics Research Assistant Professor Lakshmi Krishna is the Director of Undergraduate Research at Mines. The program strives to provide undergraduate students with a wide array of opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research led by Mines faculty mentors. Visit the 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium to see recent projects in various fields, including physics.

Student Life as a Physics Major

When you join the undergraduates who have declared Engineering Physics as their major, you will become part of a close-knit intellectual community. As a Mines Engineering Physics major, you may join the Society of Physics Students, which is free the first year and has very modest student dues in subsequent years. It is affiliated with the National Society of Physics Students. This is one of the most active professional student organizations on campus. The Mines chapter has the distinction of having often been selected as one of the outstanding chapters in the country, now for fourteen consecutive years as of 2021. SPS students participate in all sorts of activities of mutual interest, promoting physics both within and outside of the Mines community and just having fun.

You’ll also find community with the faculty in the department. The professors take an active interest in all of the undergraduate physics majors. This is particularly valuable when it comes time to have recommendations sent on your behalf to prospective employers or graduate schools. Your professors will be able to provide substantive comments that feature your best qualities to help you compete with other applicants.

Accreditation

The program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The enrollment and graduation data for the Engineering Physics program and other Mines programs can be found on the homepage of the Mines Office of Institutional Research.

Institutional and Specialized Accreditation | Enrollment and Graduation Data

“I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with others through these opportunities, such as teaching and undergraduate research.”

Joel Been

Physics Student, Colorado School of Mines